Creating Bookmarks and Links in PDF documents

Creating Bookmarks and Links in PDF documents

Creating Bookmarks and Links in PDF documents

Bookmarks (which appear as a clickable “table of contents” on the left side of the window) and

links are two ways to transform your “printable online brochure” into an interactive online


This document assumes you know how to create basic PDF documents out of Word documents.

If you would like instructions on how to do so, see “Creating and Optimizing PDF Documents.”

Creating bookmarks and links automatically

By far the easiest way to create bookmarks is to set up your original document so all the

bookmarks and links are created automatically. You can tell Acrobat which features to make

links from, but by default, the following are converted automatically:

• Headings. Each heading level (1, 2, 3…) will be converted into a clickable bookmark and

properly indented.

o For information on using headings, see “Word Headings and Styles.”

• Hyperlinks. These can be from the document to a web site, e-mail address, or another

location within the Word document. Visually, they will take on the formatting of the

original document (usually blue underlined text, with an invisible rectangular clickable

region around the text).

o To insert a hyperlink into a Word document, highlight the word(s) you want to

turn into a link, choose Insert Menu Hyperlink, and paste the address or

browse to the file you want to link to.

Creating bookmarks and links by hand

This procedure is very different in versions 5, 6, and 7. Version 6 is the oddball – versions 5 and

7 work similarly. Version 7 is in the labs and what you could buy today, so I’ve included those

instructions here. If you need to work with version 6, let me know; I have instructions for that,


Creating bookmarks

• Open your PDF document in Acrobat.

• Click the Bookmarks tab on the left edge of the screen so you can see the Bookmarks


• File Menu Document Properties Initial View – Set “Initial view” to “Bookmarks

panel and Page” and set “Page Layout” to “Continuous.”

• Scroll to the part of the document you want to bookmark. This will probably be some sort

of section heading. Be sure that the heading is at the top of the screen; when the

bookmark is clicked, the page will scroll to this exact location.

• Edit Menu Add Bookmark . This places a bookmark called “Untitled” in the

bookmark pane.

• Type a title for the bookmark and hit the Enter key.

• Repeat for every location in the document you want to bookmark.

Moving and indenting bookmarks

• Simply drag the bookmark to the place in the list where you want it to appear.

• If you drag it straight up, it will stay at the same level of indentation; if you drag it

slightly to the right, it will indent and “nest” under the bookmark above it.

Creating links

Links can go to other sections of the same PDF document, or to web sites, other documents, or e-

mail addresses.

• Choose Tools Menu Advanced Editing Link Tool

• Draw a rectangle around the text you want to turn into a link.

• Choose a color, etc., for this box. If the text on the page is already blue and underlined,

you might want to set the link type to “invisible rectangle.”

• Choose a Link Action based on what should open when users click this link. “Go to a

page view” makes a link to another location within the open PDF document.

• Click “Next.”

• If you are linking to another page in this document, scroll to the page you want to go to

(you can also just click a bookmark to go to the right page).

• When you are looking at the page you want to go to, click “Set Link.”

• To test your link and see its final formatting (color, etc.), choose the hand tool, then click

the link.

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